Given that MGMT are one of, if not my all time favourite band, my tickets for their gig at the O2 academy in Bournemouth were booked months ago.
The bands 11 date tour of the UK and Ireland was predated by their controversially different third album, Congratulations. With media and the fans alike strongly divided over the album, it gives credit to the band that their largest tour to date, including three nights at the Brixton Academy, sold out. However, although the show was oversubscribed and the venue packed with people, the evening never really got started.
The crowd were slow, unmoving and refused to become drawn into any of the band’s third album material or any tracks from their debut. Then again, whilst the majority of the crowd were unresponsive to the music, it is not fair to place such a lacklustre atmosphere solely on them. The band themselves were static and made little effort to capture the audience’s imagination, simply standing and playing. Segways between songs were non-existent with tracks finishing before immediately beginning the next. It took until roughly mid-set for the first movement which came in the song, ‘Electric Feel’. This started to kindle foot tapping which quickly became actual dancing. Two or three songs later was the anthem ‘Time to Pretend’, yet the atmosphere seemed confined only the first few centre rows and even this was knocked back as the band immediately followed with eleven minute epic ‘Siberian Breaks’. Thankfully, towards the end of the set-list with a little help from ‘Weekend Wars’ the crowd were tentatively re-engaged and even enthused enough to demand an undeserved encore; an encore undeserved by both parties. Although an obvious choice MGMT returned with ‘Kids’, undoubtedly their biggest hit but one they have in the past refused to play live. ‘Congratulations’ ironically closed the night, given both parties were undeserving. All in all, given the high calibre of music they create MGMT were disappointing, this coupled with a poor crowd who seemed only to know the material that makes the playlist at Radio 1, a potential consequence of a Friday night gig? Possibly so.